Water is at the heart of the Somerset Levels, once sea, it has gradually become land through a succession of salt marsh, freshwater wetland and human intervention. Rivers have been diverted, bogs drained, and an intricate network of ditches, sluices and sea defences installed to keep the water at bay and allow access to rich summer pasture. In recent years, land damaged by drainage, agriculture and intense peat extraction has been returned to marsh, creating a ‘new’ landscape of water filled rhynes, damp fens, wet fern woodland, salt marsh and open water fringed with reed beds. These photographs tell the story of these newly created places. Walking through this shifting landscape always reveals something different; light, weather, seasons, tides, an allegory for the ever-changing and transient nature of life.
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